Rovers held at Gloucester
July 15, 2017
Ellis Harrison struck a last-gasp equaliser at a windy Thornhill Park as Rovers remain unbeaten during their pre-season campaign against Gloucester City.
A long-ball forward by trialist and substitute Dylan McGlade found Harrison, who struck past Alex Harris with the outside of his boot.
Former Rovers forward Eliot Richards put the Tigers ahead after 10 minutes when a long-ball forward caught the wind and favoured Richards as he placed it into the far corner past Sam Slocombe.
Rovers Assistant Manager Marcus Stewart handed 19-year-old Marc Bola a start after his move from Arsenal on Friday in a strong recognised team that also included trialist Tom Broadbent.
Gloucester’s starting XI consisted of two former Rovers Academy graduates with Darren Mullings and Eliot Richards, with the latter on trial with the National League South side.
It was Rovers that started the brighter at Slimbridge with Tom Broadbent forcing a parry from Alex Harry from Chris Lines’ freekick after four minutes.
But Gloucester responded when Karnell Williams hit a fierce effort high and wide over Slocombe’s crossbar.
Rovers nearly gave away a gift for Gloucester’s Zach Kotwica after a misplaced pass was picked up and Kotwica forced a strong save from Slocombe, in a good spell for the Tigers.
Lines, on freekick duty once more, whipped in another teasing ball looking for Ellis Harrison but the ball skipped past the forward and out for a goal kick.
All of Rovers’ best efforts came through Lines and Harrison during early spells as they both exchanged passes before the latter fired a curling effort straight at Gloucester’s Alex Harris.
Harrison was on the end of every chance during the first half, but was unable to break his scoring duck, this time mishitting a glorious effort over from close range after a good pass by Liam Sercombe.
The Welshman had another glorious chance to equalise on the stroke of half, when his diving header flew over the bar from Byron Moore’s dink.
Luke Russe, who was initially meant to start this afternoon, replaced new loan signing Marc Bola at half time.
Lines continued the to bombard the Gloucester goal, when he fired an effort just over, which was the midfielders last contribution of the game.
Lines and Hargreaves were replaced on the hour mark by trialist Dylan McGlade and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist as Rovers looked to respond.
Ryan Broom was next to test Harris in the opposition goal, but the goalkeeper easily captured his long-range strike.
Rovers continued to press, with Sercombe curling wide, before the midfielder hit the ball over from a Harrison cross with minutes remaining.
Marcus Stewart told bristolrovers.co.uk: “I am pleased the lads got through 90 minutes without injury, so that is all good.
“We weren’t as sharp as we would like to be and not as clinical in the final third – but we are two weeks into the season.
“Marc (Bola) had a really good first half – he is obviously a good ball player, he is tough and can run and that is what we are all about.”
Rovers: Sam Slocombe, James Clarke, Jonny Burn, Marc Bola (Luke Russe 45), Tom Broadbent (T), Chris Lines (Dylan McGlade (T) 60), Cameron Hargreaves (Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist 60) Liam Sercombe, Ryan Broom, Ellis Harrison, Byron Moore,
Sub not used: Toby Rennie.